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All's Well That Ends Well
William Shakespeare
Project Gutenberg
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Helena, the orphan daughter of a famous physician, is the ward of the Countess of Rousillon, and hopelessly in love with the son of the Countess, Count Bertram, who has been sent to the court of the King of France. Despite her beauty and worth, Helena has no hope of attracting Bertram, since she is of low birth and he is a nobleman. However, when word comes that the King is ill, she goes to Paris and, using her father's arts, cures the fistula from which he suffers. In return, she is given the hand of any man in the realm; she chooses Bertram. Her new husband is appalled at the match, however, and shortly after their marriage flees France, accompanied only by a scoundrel named Parolles, to fight in the army of the Duke of Florence.